Department of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry

Head

professor Jerzy Kruk, PhD, DSc
room: B221 (3.1.25), phone: +48 12 664 63 61

Staff

professor Leszek Fiedor, PhD, DSc, room: B224 (3.1.31), phone: +48 12 664 63 58
Przemysław Malec PhD, DSc,  room: A221 (4.1.23), phone: +48 12 664 65 20
Dariusz Latowski, PhD, DSc,  room: A225 (4.1.27), phone: +48 12 664 65 36
Beata Myśliwa–Kurdziel, PhD, DSc,  room: B227(3.1.31), phone: +48 12 664 65 64

Monika Bojko, PhD, room: (3.1.29), phone: +48 12 664 63 68
Małgorzata Jemioła–Rzemińska, PhD,  room: A224 (4.1.26), phone: +48 12 664 65 37
Magdalena Kędra, PhD, room: A223 (4.1.25), phone: +48 12 664 65 19
Kinga Kłodawska, PhD, room: A220 (4.1.22), phone: +48 12 664 65 45
Beatrycze Nowicka, PhD, room: B222 (3.1.26), phone: +48 12 664 63 72

Katarzyna Lenart, MSc, room: A230 (4.1.7), phone: +48 12 664 65 45
Paulina Kuczyńska, MSc, room: A226 (4.1.28), phone: +48 12 664 65 34
Dorota Kutrzeba, MSc,, room: A223 (4.1.7), phone: +48 12 664 65 19
Milena Szafraniec, MSc, room: A230 (4.1.7), phone: +48 12 664 65 64
Kamil Trzebuniak, MSc. Eng, room: A230 (4.1.7), phone: +48 12 664 65 64
Anna Kowalczyk, MSc. Eng, room: A230 (4.1.7), phone: +48 12 664 65 45

PhD students

Jolanta Dłużewska, room: A220 (4.1.22), phone: +48 12 664 65 45
Michał Gabruk, room: B222 (3.1.26), phone: +48 12 664 63 72
Paweł Jedynak, room: A220  (4.1.22), phone: +48 12 664 65 45
Maciej Michalik, room: A226 (4.1.28), phone: +48 12 664 65 34
Monika Olchawa-Pajor, room: A230 (4.1.7), phone: +48 12 664 65 64
Bartosz Pluciński, room: A220 (4.1.22), phone: +48 12 664 65 45
Monika Wiciarz, room: B222 (3.1.26), phone: +48 12 664 63 72
Mateusz Zbyradowski, room: A230 (4.1.7), phone: +48 12 664 65 64

Research topics

  • The xanthophyll cycle of higher plants, green algae and diatoms; analysis of de-epoxidation in thylakoid membranes and in artificial membrane systems
  • Protective role of carotenoids – molecular mechanism of epoxy xanthophylls de-epoxidation.
  • The effect of heavy metals on the germination of seeds, physiology biochemistry and genetics of plants  from post-mining areas – in in vitro culture
  • Adaptations of plants to anthropogenic heavy metal stress: mechanisms and propagation
  • Plants and microorganisms in bioremediation
  • Molecular mechanisms of response in autotrophic organisms to abiotic environmental factors (light, temperature, transition metals), including: environmental regulation of chlorophyll and carotenoid biosynthesis pathways, physiological function of oligomerization of photosystem I in cyanobacteria; plant metabolic adaptations to elevated concentrations of metal ions;
  • Application of autotrophs to phytoremediation and biotransformation of hazardous wastes
  • Development of photosynthetic membranes in higher plants; chlorophyll biosynthesis
  • Assessment of the effects of structural changes on a stability of molecules
  • Characterization of molecular interactions of proteins, antibodies, nucleic acids, and other biomolecules with lipid matrix of biological membranes
  • Modifications of thermotropic phase transitions in lipid structures

Methods

  • Fluorescence spectroscopy (steady-state and time-resolved methods at room temperature and at 77K, fluorescence anizotropy)
  • Chromatography (HPLC-DAD, FPLC-DAD, HP-TLC)
  • Electrophoresis
  • EPR spectroscopy
  • Absorption spectroscopy
  • PCR
  • Plant and cell culture
  • Isolation of plastid membranes
  • Pigment extraction from plant tissue

Current projects

  1. Beata Myśliwa-Kurdziel: Rola zależnej od światła biosyntezy chlorofilu w regulacji biosyntezy i składania fotosyntetycznych kompleksów barwnikowo-białkowo-lipidowych w roślinach okrytonasiennych. (2014-2018). SONATA BIS, NCN. 
  2. Przemysław Malec (konsorcjant): Biokonwersja odpadów pofermentacyjnych z biogazowni: ochrona wód i paliwi III generacji. (2015-2016). Program GEKON, NCBiR.
  3. Michał Gabruk: Regulacja oligomeryzacji i wiązanie tetrapiroli w oksydoreduktazie protochlorofilidu. (2014-2016). PRELUDIUM, NCN.
  4. Paulina Kuczyńska: Analiza porównawcza epoksydaz zeaksantynowych okrzemek z zastosowaniem Phaeodactylum tricornutum. (2014-2016). PRELUDIUM, NCN.
  5. Beatrycze Nowicka: Udział antyutleniaczy z grupy lipidów prenylowych w odpowiedzi zielenicy Chlamydomonas reinhardtii na stres wywołany metalami ciężkimi oraz w oddziaływaniach allelopatycznych. (2014-2016). SONATA, NCN.
  6. Leszek Fiedor: Udział chemicznego wygaszania tlenu singletowego w pro- i antyoksydacyjnej aktywności karotenoidów. (2013-2016). OPUS, NCN.

Selected publications

  1. Fiedor L, Heriyanto, Fiedor J,  Pilch M. (2016): Effects of molecular symmetry on the electronic transitions in carotenoids, J Phys Chem Lett 7, 1821-1829.
  2. Szymańska R, Nowicka B, Kruk J. (2014): Hydroxy-plastochromanol and plastoquinone-C as singlet oxygen products during photooxidative stress in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell Environ 37, 1464-1473
  3. Fiedor L, Kania A, Myśliwa-Kurdziel B, Orzeł Ł, Stochel G. (2008): Understanding chlorophylls: central magnesium and phytyl as structural determinants, Biochim Biophys Acta 1777, 1491-1500.
  4. Nowicka B, Kruk J. (2010): Occurrence, biosynthesis and function of isoprenoid quinones. BBA – Bioenergetics 1797, 1587-1605
  5. Szymańska R, Kruk J. (2010): Plastoquinol is the main prenyllipid synthesized during acclimation to high light conditions in Arabidopsis and is converted to plastochromanol by tocopherol cyclase. Plant Cell Physiol 51, 537-545
  6. Kania A, Fiedor L. (2006): Steric control of bacteriochlorophyll ligation. J Am Chem Soc 128, 454-458.
  7. Drzewiecka-Matuszek A, Skalna A, Karocki A, Stochel G, Fiedor L. (2005): Effects of heavy central metal on the ground and excited states of chlorophyll. J Biol Inorg Chem 10, 453-462.
  8. Latowski D, Akerlund H-E, Strzałka K. (2004): Violaxanthin de-epoxidase, the xanthophyll cycle enzyme, requires lipid inverted hexagonal structures for its activity. Biochemistry 43,  4417-4420.
  9. Strzałka K, Walczak T, Sarna T, Swartz H. M. (1990):  Measurement  of time-resolved  oxygen  concentration  changes  in   photosynthetic systems by nitroxide-based EPR oximetry. Arch  Biochem  Biophys 281, 321-318.
  10. Strzałka K, Ngernprasirtsiri J, Watanabe A, Akazawa T. (1987): Sycamore amyloplasts can import and process precursors of nuclear encoded chloroplast proteins. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 149, 799-806.

Batchelor/master thesis topics

  • Photosynthesis under stress conditions – adaptations and protective mechanisms; xanthophyll cycle; formation of the photosynthetic apparatus, light-dependent photosynthetic reactions;
  • Investigation of primary photosynthetic reactions and interactions between photosynthetic complexes in model systems; physical-chemical properties of thylakoid membranes; modifications of photosynthetic pigments in terms of application in photodynamic therapy; carotenoids and their role in photosynthesis process;
  • Reconstitution of photosynthetic protein pigment complexes; pro-oxidant  properties of carotenoids
  • Plant metabolites and their role in medicine; artificial membranes; redox reactions in chloroplasts
  • Analysis of chlorophyllide, protochlorophyllide and protochlorophyll photophysical properties in model systems; structures of photoactive complexes protochlorophyllide:oxidoreductase, protochlorophyllide:NADPH – using fluorescence quenching technique
  • Effect of selected heavy metals on light-dependent photosynthetic reactions of higher plants on different levels of organization - individual and evolutionary aspects;
  • Plants and microorganisms in bioremediation of contaminated areas – molecular aspects, practical application
  • NAD(P)H as an anti- and prooxidant in chloroplasts
  • The role of ferredoxin and ferredoxin reductase: NADP+ in atypical systems of photosynthesis electron transport; proteins of  PSII oxygen-evolving complex; structure and interactions with metals and coenzymes
  • Fluorescent properties of reduced prenyl quinones and their application in in vitro research
  • The role of prenyl lipids in plant stress response; antioxidant properties of reduced prenyl quinones in model systems; function of alfa-tocopheryl quinone in photosynthesis electron transport chain and plant metabolism; occurence and function of B and C plastoquinones in photosynthetic apparatus; antioxidant properties of  B and C plastoquinones, plastochromanol, tocotrienols, vitamin E (alfa-tocopherol) and coenzyme Q (ubiquinone) - in vitro and in vivo systems; photoprotective role of cytochrome b-559 in PSII and its interactions with prenyl quinones of thylakoid membranes; synthesis and quenching of ROS in photosynthesis; interactions between copper ions and PSII

Requirements for candidates

Knowledge on physiology and biochemistry of plants, molecular biology, physics and chemistry. Fluent English. Laboratory skills.

Wymagania stawiane studentom

Dobra znajomość biochemii i fizjologii roślin, podstawowe wiadomości z fizyki i chemii, dobra znajomość języka angielskiego, umiejętność pracy laboratoryjnej.